More on that math/science collaboration (N&R)

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Today’s N&R has more on this proposed math/science collaboration effort between UNCG and GCS. And some striking quotes can be found here.


Educator Ed Uprichard has a vision that Guilford County 20 years from now will be known for luring and keeping some of the most innovative and high-paying technical and engineering companies in the country.

That vision also includes Guilford County Schools students outperforming their international peers on math and science exams and pouring out of local universities with related degrees.

Uprichard, former provost and dean of the school of education at UNCG, hopes a research institute he is planning will help the county accomplish this.

UNCG this past January received an initial $75,000 grant from the local Joseph M. Bryan, Cemala and Weaver foundations to plan the Institute for the Advancement of Learning in Mathematics and Science.

Last month, Uprichard started discussing a partnership with Guilford County Schools, local colleges and universities and business leaders, he said.

“We see it as a potential economic development tool for the community,” said Ed Kitchen, vice president of the Bryan Foundation. “Hopefully, we could become a center for excellence and that in turn would draw businesses to this community.”

Uprichard, now a math professor at UNCG, said he wants to form a steering committee and working groups soon to flesh out the ideas and have a proposal to the foundations by early 2009.

“We know that math and science learning in K-12 public education is not where it needs to be, according to international studies,” Uprichard said. “We have a problem in this country that needs to be addressed.”

Possible projects could include piloting different teaching techniques in middle schools or drafting policies that would either change how students are tested or increase the amount of money spent on educating gifted students, he said.

Uprichard said he believes the institute is important during an era of globalization and advances in areas such as nanotechnology.

“I would bet that those communities well-grounded in math and science and technology will more than likely be on the cutting edge 30 years from now,” he said. “But it’s not a sure thing.”

Kitchen said business leaders have told him they must often hire employees from outside the region or country to meet their work force requirements.

hire? as in…we have jobs here? (just kidding) But seriously…you guys are the same ones that preach about the “brain-drain” we keep having; young professionals with families like me are looking for work in Raleigh and Charlotte because there are no jobs. There’s a contradiction somewhere.


Martin Weissburg, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Financial Services in Greensboro, also acknowledged a gap between Guilford County’s work force and the technical skills needed by employers.

“It’s very expensive to hire outside the area and relocate his or her family,” said Weissburg, who also serves on an education-related task force with Action Greensboro.

So we have a workforce in this county that’s ill-prepared.


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E.C. )


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